The best way to achieve financial freedom is to make more money. You can only save so much on a capped income. And one of the best ways to make more money is to side hustle!
I’ve put together a list of the 20 best side hustle ideas below to help you fill up your money coffer. They’re organized by virtual gigs followed by in-person ones. There’s something for everyone.
I’m a big believer in side hustles. They got me through my quarter-life crisis, boosted my savings, and eventually helped me break free from a stressful job working 50-60 hours/week.
There’s nothing special about me either. I started out with a minimum wage part-time job when I graduated college. Then, thanks to networking, I landed a meager $30,000 full-time job shortly thereafter. Overtime, I worked my way up to a sustainable six-figure income.
How did I do that? Mostly by working long hours. I utilized my free time in my 20s and 30s to do a lot of side hustles. Even today, after everyone in the house is fast asleep, I often work into the wee hours of the morning on Financial Samurai and other household work.
If you want to achieve financial freedom sooner rather than later, I encourage you to take on a side hustle or two to boost your income. There are an endless number of things we can now do to make extra money.
20 Ideas For Side Hustles To Earn Extra Cash
Here are 20 of the best side hustle ideas that you can start doing today to earn more money. Some are easier than others depending on your existing talents and expertise. However, you can accomplish anything with enough dedication and practice.
Best Virtual Side Hustles
Let’s take a look at some of the best virtual side gigs you can do to make some extra cash.
1. Start A Profitable Blog
As a blogger, this is my favorite side hustle on the list. I didn’t know anything about it when I first started, but I didn’t let that stop me. There’s a wealth of free information on the web to help you start. For example, check out How To Start Your A Profitable Blog.
Blogging is a great side hustle if you have something you are passionate about and want to share with others. You won’t get an influx of cash immediately. But, if you stick with it and build up enough of a following, the money will eventually come.
What’s also great about blogging is that you can do so from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. Between 2015-2017, when Sam and I were traveling around the world during our FIRE panacea, Sam didn’t miss a posting schedule once.
Starting a blog requires almost no money. And you can set your own hours. Of course, you have to be willing to publish quality content regularly. If you don’t, your readers may not take you seriously. And without a consistent output of new content, it’s unlikely your blog will generate enough traffic to make any money.
Blogging as a side hustle is a long game. So be prepared to stick with it for years if you want a steady, reliable extra income stream. But if you love to write like we do, it won’t feel too much like work. It will be something you look forward to every day.
Being able to click the “publish” button is an incredibly satisfying feeling. Who knows, you might just get addicted!
Related: How To Make Lots Of Money Blogging
2. Become A Tutor, Coach, Or Teach Private Lessons
Another side job that you can do virtually or in-person is tutoring. There are plenty of companies that hire people to be online tutors. You don’t even need to have a degree, although you may need to pass a proficiency test.
But you don’t need to go the corporate route. You can operate independently and set your own prices, services, and hours. There are thousands of sole proprietors out there making extra money as tutors and coaches. Having a blog is one way to attract clients.
Chances are you already have a skillset that someone needs help with. For example, teaching English, soccer, knitting, playing piano, using spreadsheets, creating Powerpoint presentations, you name it. And apps like Zoom and Google Meet make it so easy to do virtually.
I made good money teaching violin and piano lessons to adults in my 20s and 30s. Sam side hustled as a high school tennis coach for three years.
One of our friends makes great extra money teaching dance classes online. She hosts live classes through Zoom, records them, and then sells the recorded sessions to students all over the world.
3. Sell Things On Craigslist, eBay, Or Other Online Platforms
Do you have extra stuff lying around that you just haven’t figured out what to do with? Chances are someone out there will pay money for it. Do a quick search on Ebay or Craigslist and you’ll be surprised what people are selling. One person’s trash is truly another person’s treasure.
If you have clothes that you outgrew years ago, try selling them on Poshmark or Depop. This is a great way to earn money almost instantly while clearing up space in your house and closet. All you need is a camera and a pile of clothes or unwanted goods in your home and you’re all set.
If you need some motivation to declutter, ask yourself which items in your house don’t spark joy like Marie Kondo recommends. It’s a great way to sort through big piles of stuff.
Some folks have even turned selling into a regular gig. They frequent garage sales and thrift stores to find discounted goods that they then resell for a premium on eBay.
And if selling things online isn’t your style, you can always declutter the old fashioned way and host a garage sale to make some extra money.
4. Create Your Own YouTube Videos/Tutorials
These days, there are a lot of kids building up a following on YouTube and other platforms. One kid actually makes over $20 million a year reviewing toys!
People will watch anything as long as it’s engaging and about something they are interested in. But, this isn’t a surefire way to make money. Aim to be unique and provide a new perspective on something.
Like a blog though, you need patience, credibility, and consistency. If you don’t go viral or can’t keep up with your content, it’s going to be tough to get enough traffic to earn money this way.
5. Side Hustle As An Editor Or Proofreader
This is a fairly straightforward side hustle if you love to read and have strong grammar skills. Even if you aren’t an expert on grammar, there are great free online tools you can utilize like Grammarly to help catch typos and errors.
On the higher end of this type side gig, you could proofread transcriptions for transcription companies. But, unless you’re already an editorial professional, plan to start out on a casual basis.
Try finding international college students learning English as a second language who need help with writing. Or see if anyone in your network has a teen who needs help with college admissions essays.
You can also look online to see if there are any local businesses who have newsletters, fliers, or other publications that need proofreading. Microsoft Word and Google Docs both have great mark-up features and tools to track changes and insert comments.
6. Make And Sell Your Own Products
This is a fun and rewarding side hustle if you love to create your own things. It can also be a good way to test the waters if you ever want to start your own business. As a creator, you also have the flexibility to set your own hours and pricing. But, don’t overlook the fact that marketing will be key to gain traction.
On the plus side, there’s an endless amount of things you can make and sell. Just take a browse through Etsy for inspiration. And, if you like to design things but don’t want to manage inventory, you can use sites like Spreadshirt to create and sell all kinds of things.
For example, check out our Financial Samurai store. All profits get donated to the Pomeroy Center to help those with various disabilities and the American Nystagmus Network.
7. Be A Influencer Social Media Marketer For Small Businesses
If you love to post pictures and videos of yourself online, you might enjoy picking up a side hustle as an influencer. If you’re entertaining and build a large enough following, companies may pay you to promote their products.
Having good looks, a unique talent, or connections isn’t required. But they can certainly give you a leg up on the competition. Ultimately, it’ll take patience and persistence. Don’t expect to become an influencer overnight unless magically go viral.
In addition, you may be able to pick up a side hustle doing social media marketing. Social media is ever-expanding these days. And companies are always looking for ways to get seen and navigate their business.
8. Side Hustle As A Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants are in growing demand, especially since the pandemic started. You still do all of the things a regular administrative assistant would do, just virtually.
For example, organizing and managing your boss’s social or business schedule, or helping with company marketing. If you have a lot of free time, enjoy organizing, and are great with devices, you could be a great virtual assistant.
From our perspective, we may hire a virtual assistant to handle all inbound requests. Further, a virtual assistant could help us with PR outreach if we wanted to be proactive in growing this site.
9. Take On A Website Design Or Backend Assistant Side Gig
This is a good side hustle if you are tech savvy and have an eye for design. Every business should have their own website. But, a lot of small business owners don’t know where to start. So if you have the skillset for website design, there are businesses out there who could use your help.
But I must state the obvious – make sure you have your own website first before trying to get someone to pay you to build theirs. I had someone ask me to hire him to redesign my site once, yet he didn’t have a website of his own to showcase. Shocking.
If you’re skilled with backend maintenance you can also utilize those skills to side hustle for extra cash. There are plenty of bloggers out there who are great at creating content, but aren’t the best at maintenance. If you can demonstrate your abilities, you may just be able to find someone who will hire you.
10. Write An eBook Or Traditional Book
This side hustle only makes sense if you enjoy writing and have a unique skillset or experience to share. You don’t need to have your own blog to write an ebook. But, it’s beneficial if you do.
Writing an eBook is a great way to build your brand and use your own site to promote and sell it. Just realize there’s no guarantee you’ll sell a lot of copies, so use your time wisely.
Sam wrote a niche eBook back in 2012, How To Engineer Your Layoff, which has been a great extra source of income. The initial writing took about a year to complete, and subsequent new editions took several months. But now it’s a great passive income stream.
The book not only earns extra money, but also helps readers get more money through severance negotiation. Here are some thoughts on self-publishing a book.
Writing a traditionally published book is another side hustle that could earn you royalties for years. However, signing with a publisher can be very difficult. Therefore, I suggest you build your platform first or write an eBook.
Here’s more information making money with traditional publishing. Sam signed a book deal with Portfolio, a Penguin Random House imprint in 2020. It is currently being written.
In-Person Side Hustle Ideas For Extra Cash
11. Babysit, Petsit, And Housesit
If you like kids, babysitting can be a rewarding side hustle to make more money. The pay can add up quite nicely too as you gain experience. For example, experienced babysitters in San Francisco typically earn $20-25/hour.
It is an especially easy side gig to start with if your family or friends have a lot of children. This allows you to babysit kids you’re already comfortable with and whose parents trust you. Alternatively, you can post your profile on sites like UrbanSitter and Care.com to find babysitting gigs.
Same goes for petsitting. You can start off taking care of pets for your friends, neighbors, and coworkers. And use sites like Rover to expand your clientele.
My former colleague started making $1,000 a month in extra income just by pet sitting. She made her best money doing overnight petsitting for high-needs dogs.
Housesitting side gigs are a bit harder to come by. But, it all depends on where you live and how you network.
I know a woman who always hires a house-sitter when she travels because she has 52 plants in her home. Having a green thumb, a knack for tidying up, and a resourceful mindset come in handy if you want to housesit.
12. Take On A Rideshare Side Hustle
If you have a car, being an Uber or Lyft driver is an easy way to make extra money. However, the pay has really come down over the years.
Before we had kids, Sam did a lot of driving for Uber. It was a great way to get super familiar with the city, hear people’s stories, and earn bonuses. When Uber added a feature to pick up rides en route to a certain destination, Sam drove even more. He figured, if he had to go somewhere, he might as well earn some extra money on the way there.
In addition, like many other side hustles on this list, you aren’t tied down to a specific work schedule either. The problem with being a rideshare driver is the cost of operation. If you get a ticket, a ding, or a blown tire, your side hustle money can quickly get eaten up.
13. Pick Up A Side Gig Delivering Food And Groceries
The pandemic increased the popularity of food and grocery delivery services. I certainly relied on deliveries throughout the pandemic and still do. If you like driving but don’t want to deal with passengers, delivering food and groceries can be an easy side hustle for extra money.
Amazon and Instacart are two of the biggest companies hiring independent contractors to make deliveries. Qualifying is simple and straight forward too. And although the hourly wage is on the lower side, you can earn tips for good service, and often get driver benefits.
14. Clean Houses For Extra Cash
This is another fairly easy side hustle if you’re not opposed to getting your hands dirty. All you really need to know are which cleaning supplies to use. You’ll also need a strong back and a good work ethic to clean all the nooks and crannies in a house.
Housekeeping doesn’t require much knowledge. But, it can require a large time commitment and flexibility to accommodate your client’s schedule.
Cleaning can be tiring after several hours. The fumes may get to you. But it’s satisfying to see the immediate results of your hard work. Plus, it feels good to help other people and earn some extra money at the same time.
15. Side Hustle As A Handyman
One thing in life that’s for certain is that nothing lasts forever. Live anywhere long enough and stuff starts to break or need replacing. Towel rods weaken and fall off the wall, toilets start to run, lightbulbs go out in hard to reach places, bathroom caulk turns moldy and cracks, etc.
If you’re a DIY at heart, these are all things you can learn how to fix yourself. And with practice, you can get paid to help fix them in other people’s homes too.
I learned how to fix toilets, caulk sinks and bathtubs, repair refrigerator water lines, patch and paint walls, install anti-tip guards, etc. thanks to YouTube and some elbow grease. As rental property owners, we naturally pick up home maintenance skills.
Perhaps you’re good at putting together furniture, playhouses, and setting up electronics. These are all great skills to have for yourself and for side hustling. There are a lot of people that hate doing this type of stuff who will happily pay for good service.
16. Install Smart Thermostats, Doorbell Cameras, or Washlets
Similar to the above, you can make great extra income side hustling as an installer if you’re good at it. There are many companies who hire independent contractors to install smart thermostats like Google Nest in people’s homes.
Or you can side hustle on your own and keep all the profits for yourself. Picking up a side gig installing doorbell cameras like Ring is another option to make extra cash.
You can even install washlets for a profit if you know some plumbing basics. They certainly gained more popularity in the US after the toilet paper shortage during the pandemic.
I installed three Toto Washlets on my own when I moved houses without any prior training. It’s not a glamorous way to earn extra money, but it’s rewarding and doesn’t take that long.
Related: Best Revenge Spending Ideas
17. Side Hustle As A Packer And/Or Mover
Before we had kids, I couldn’t understand why anyone would hire someone to help them pack. But after moving houses with two kids, I completely get it. Packing is a pita!
There are lots of opportunities to get paid to help people pack whether it’s for large families, elderly folks, busy people working 60+ hours a week, or even businesses.
Side hustling as a mover is another easy job to pick up when you’re free. And you don’t even have to move entire houses. You can get hired to pick up and deliver furniture or other bulky items for people who don’t have a car or who need extra hands.
TaskRabbit is a great place to post your profile for these types of side gigs and provides insurance protection.
However you get hired, make sure you know how to properly wrap, pack, load, and unload items to avoid damage. And clearly label items and track inventory.
18. List Your Home As A Vacation Rental
Depending on the local laws in your area, you may be able to rent out your home or a portion of your home as a vacation rental. Some people even rent their backyards as camp grounds. Just watch a few episodes of Instant Hotel on Netflix for some inspiration.
If you’re a social person, this is also a fun way to meet new people and share your knowledge of local attractions.
With the worst of the pandemic behind us, people are traveling like crazy everywhere. And more and more people are opting to stay at vacation rentals over hotels for a more personalized experience.
Our vacation rental in Lake Tahoe is finally booming again.
19. Pick Up Odd Jobs
What’s great about odd jobs is that the commitment is low. Thus, you can try out a bunch of different things if you’re not sure what you want to focus on.
Craigslist is a great place to get ideas and find listings for odd jobs. There’s a specific section just for Gigs.
For example, you can sell tickets at a local fair, wash cars, work security at an event, scan receipts, deweed someone’s garden, get hired as a makeup artist for a photoshoot, be an ump for a meetup softball game, maintain hot tubs, detail cars, etc. There are always odd jobs being posted.
Just watch out for scams when using sites like Craigslist. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
20. Participate In Research Studies And Surveys
Another option to side hustle is to participate in research studies. I did this in my 20s and earned $100-200 on average over 2-3 hour sessions just for answering questions.
The catch is you have to meet certain criteria to qualify for specific studies. For example, you may need to be in a certain age group, income bracket, or industry.
But, they’re typically easy to do when you’re eligible. And can also be fun experiences especially if you get to test products.
You can also side hustle taking online surveys and get paid to watch advertisements. I tried this in my mid-20s through Swagbucks for a few months. But, it barely paid anything. Plus, it was too mind numbing for me, so I stopped doing it.
Instead, I found I could make a lot more money teaching music lessons in less time.
Start Earning More Money Today
I hope you enjoyed going through our best side hustle ideas. If you have more side hustle ideas that are making you money, I’d love to hear them.
Analyze your skillsets and find ways to harness your talents profitably. Ultimately, the power to earn extra cash through a side hustle is up to you. If you’re motivated enough to earn extra money, you’ll find a way to make it happen.
Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty! Chances are you’ll like the results.
And while you’re motivated to earn extra cash, set aside some time to start building passive income streams. Active income is certainly rewarding and often a necessity. But, working your way towards earning reliable, increasing passive income streams can’t be beat.
Happy side hustling!
Readers, what are some of the best side hustle jobs you’ve done? What are the side hustle jobs of the future? What are you currently doing to make more money beyond your day job?
Note from Sam: After reading this post, I plan to sell stuff we no longer use. Clutter has been piling up at home since the Salvation Army shut down due to the pandemic. We normally donate 4-8 bags of things a year.
If we are ever in desperate need of cash, I will become a private tennis instructor or personal finance consultant again. Having the ability to side hustle is one of the best financial buffers to have.